Judging Time
strode into the room, wearing soft black trousers and a black sweater. Looked like cashmere. Probably was. As Emma took the chair opposite, April wondered what it would be like to have long legs, peach-colored skin and blond hair, to wear such expensive things, and walk with such authority and grace.
    "Ah, Sergeant Woo, congratulations on your promotion," Emma said with a brittle smile.
    "Yes, congratulations," Jason threw in.
    "Congratulations to you, too, for your new play. I see your name in the top place at the theater every day. I'm downtown in Midtown North now," April explained.
    "Your new phone number confused me," Jason said. "Someone told me you're a supervisor now."
    "Yes, it's true."
    "Well, you'll have to come and see the play—and bring your friend. What's his name—Mike . . . ?" Emma made a face, trying to remember the name of the cop who'd saved her life.
    "Sanchez," April said softly. "He's in Homicide now."
    "No kidding? Then who's left to take care of us in the Twentieth?" Emma asked lightly.
    April thought of Aspirante and Healy. "No one," she said. Her stomach gurgled. She put a hand over it to silence it. Time to go to work. "I'm sorry about your friends," she began, taking her Rosario out of her purse.
    "Thank you." Emma twisted her wedding ring around on her finger. She glanced at the notebook, then at Jason. He had his bland shrink face on. April had her cop face on. The actress had her . . . actress face on. April wondered if she'd be able to get past it.
    "Let's start with your relationship with the—uh, with Mrs. Liberty," April suggested.
    "I've known Merrill for—a long time. We went to acting classes together more than ten years ago. That's how we met. We both wanted to be actors. Merrill made it first. She got a part in a soap. I did voice-overs for a long time. We were very close, even after she married Rick."
    "That's what Liberty's friends call him."
    "So the three of you go way back."
    Emma took a bite out of an unpolished thumbnail and spoke impatiently. "We all go way back. Rick and Tor were friends the way Merrill and I were friends. This is a devastating thing. Just horrible." She glanced at Jason, sitting silently beside her, then reached for his hand. "For Rick especially. I can't imagine losing both my husband and my best friend at the same time."
    April felt a twinge of jealousy at the way Jason was looking at his wife. It triggered a thought, then she lost it. "Did Merrill and Petersen have any enemies?"
    Emma chewed on her nail. "Well, of course. I'm - sure they did. Successful people always have enemies."
    "Can you think of anybody in particular who might want to kil them?"
    "Tor just fired twenty percent of the people in his company last week. A lot of people were mad at him. He was a charming man, but he could be ruthless, you know."
    April wasn't acquainted with people like Petersen, so she didn't know. She waited for Emma to go on.
    "Maybe the killer was someone he'd fired. Sergeant, do you think Tor was the target? Or both of them?" Emma frowned.
    "Please call me April. Why do you ask?"
    Emma shook her head. "It doesn't make sense."
    "What doesn't?"
    "It was an accident that they were together last night. Merrill and Rick were supposed to come to see me in my new play. I didn't know Rick wasn't coming until after the show when Merril showed up in my dressing room with Tor. I have to admit I was surprised."
    Emma smiled weakly. "Rick is a fan."
    "Is Tor a fan?"
    "Oh, I don't know. I hardly knew him. I don't think he even knew who I was before last night."
    "You're too modest. So what changed the plans?" "Rick had to go to Chicago on business. Tor took his ticket. For him it was a last-minute thing. Nobody even knew he was going to be there."
    That triggered another question. April made a note.-"What about his wife?"
    "Tor's wife? I've never met her. The gossip was they were breaking up."
    "Maybe she knew where they were going."
    "That's—horrible. How

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